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Building Surveys Advice

A common question is “why do I need a survey when the mortgage company is undertaking a valuation report”? The fundamental difference is that they are doing a valuation to ensure that the funds they are lending on a property are secure; a valuation is not a survey on the condition of the property and the valuation is not primarily for the benefit of the buyer. It is always advisable to have a building survey when buying a home, it is one of the largest purchases that most people make and buyers should be in a position  to know precisely what they are acquiring.

Building surveys advice

Incredibly in Spain less than 10% of UK purchasers have surveys carried out, yet we rarely survey a building that has no defects. It is very often the case that the report highlights defects which either make the acquisition unwise or are sufficient for the buyer to negotiate some form of discount, usually enough to offsetting the survey cost.

The survey report allows you to decide if you want to continue with the purchase and to consider issues needing urgent repair or longer-term issues of maintenance. The survey is visual and non-invasive, giving an overview of the condition and will recommend if any further specialist surveys should be made such as electrical, air conditioning etc. The report can include an estimation of the value of the property if agreed prior to the survey being undertaken.

The RICS states that the report is to “give factual information on significant aspects of the condition of the property to the prospective purchaser”. The building survey involves inspection of the whole property with the surveyor using some equipment including moisture detectors, however, it is a visual non-invasive inspection. The report considers most aspects of the property including:

– roof coverings – drainage
– roof structure – internal walls, floors and partitions
– external walls – internal joinery
– guttering – kitchen fittings
– damp proofing – sanitary appliances
– sub-floor ventilation – general decorative condition
– windows, doors & external joinery – services

Visible defects are identified, such as the presence of dry-rot, rising damp, woodworm, cracks in the structure etc. Basic testing of services is undertaken but this is not a comprehensive survey and is undertaken to make a judgement on whether or not they are fit for purposes or if a specialist report is required in such areas as electrical systems or air conditioning etc.

An inspection usually takes between two to four hours to complete and a report is usually issued within one to three days from an inspection. Building Survey reports usually are issued in a standard report format and are usually in excess of 20 pages. They include photographs of defects and recommendations to deal with any issues found.

As a surveying company, over the years we have seen a wide variety of property types over the whole of southern Andalucia, from caves in Guadix to multi million-pound villas in Marbella and village houses on the Costa de la Luz. If you are considering buying a property, have a survey and contact Gibson Gale Limited to obtain a quotation –  Tel. 0034 633262616  (Gibraltar: 00350 20075551). Or you can visit the website at

By Adam Neale | Property News | July 5th, 2019

Building Surveys Advice

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